Prof. Wonkam is a specialist medical geneticist, in the Division of Human Genetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa. After a MD training from the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaoundé I (Cameroon), he completed a thesis in Cell Biology in the department of Morphology, University of Geneva (Switzerland) and a PhD in Human Genetics (University of Cape Town, South Africa). Other salient aspects of Prof Wonkam's background include his education as a medical geneticist at a highly reputable genetics department in Geneva (Switzerland). He subsequently practices medical genetics in both European and African contexts. His research interests are reflected in more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, which are in molecular, clinical, educational and ethical aspects of medical and human genetics. His research focuses on: 1) Psychosocial Burden and Genomics modifiers of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD); 2) Genetics of hearing loss, and 3) Ethical and educational Issues in human genetics in Africa. His is member of the steering committee of H3Africa consortium, leading specifically the NIH/NHGRI funded SCD project. He has recently been granted from NIH/NHLBI 3.7m USD, to establish a Sickle Africa Data Coordinating Centre (SADaCC), at the University of Cape Town that will work collaboratively with a sister consortium (Sickle Pan African Network, SPARCo) to develop various studies in Tanzania, Nigeria and Ghana. He was awarded the 2003 Denber-Pinard Prize for the best thesis from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, and won the very competitive Clinical Genetics Society International Award for 2014, from the British Society of Genetic Medicine. Prof Wonkam is secretary of the African Society of Human Genetics, Board member of the International Federation of Human Genetics Societies, council member of Human Genome Organization, steering committee's member of the Global Genetic Medicine Collaborative (G2MC).
Prof. Mulder heads the Computational Biology Division (CBIO) at UCT. She graduated with a BSc degree (cum laude) in Chemistry and Microbiology, and a first class Honours degree in Microbiology, followed by a PhD in Medical Microbiology. She then spent over 8 years at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) in Cambridge, moving into the area of bioinformatics. At the EBI she was a Team Leader, responsible for the development of InterPro and the Gene Ontology Annotation Project. InterPro was one of the most heavily used Bioinformatics resources at the Institute. At UCT, Prof Mulder works in the area of bioinformatics of infectious diseases, including pathogen and host genomics and biological networks, human variation and disease association studies. She heads the CBIO group, which consists of over 30 staff and students. The group provides bioinformatics support and training for postgraduate students and local researchers, and Prof Mulder convenes an Honours programme in Bioinformatics, and organises a South African national bioinformatics training course for postgraduate students. Internationally, Prof Mulder is involved in capacity development in Africa, as leader of a large NIH-funded consortium, H3ABioNet, to build a Pan-African Bioinformatics network for H3Africa. Prof Mulder is also a member of the ELIXIR Scientific Advisory Board, which forms part of a major EU funded European initiative involving all the bioinformatics stakeholders in Europe and many others world-wide, and a founding member of the Global Organisation for Bioinformatics Learning, Education & Training (GOBLET). She is on the executive committee of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, as well as a number of review and advisory boards.
Miss Emjedi is completing her degree in Bachelors Administration with her final financial accounting exam taking place in October 2017. She has broad financial industry background and joined UCT in August 2016. Gabby joined the SADaCC team as the Administrator in September 2017.
Dr. Chimusa is a statistical geneticist, his expertise is in population structure and genome wide patterns of variation within and between species to address fundamental questions in biology, anthropology, and medicine. He holds a Ph.D. in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, and has extensive experience in designing and applying statistical methods to large genomics data sets in computational biology and statistical genetics. He became a faculty member at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2014, and He currently holds a senior lectureship position at the Division of Human Genetics, Department of Pathology, UCT. Dr. Chimusa had led several projects including (1) a post GWAS method, ancGWAS, an algebraic graph-based approach to deconvolute the interactions between genes and identify significant disease sub-networks underlying the pathogenesis of complex diseases (Chimusa et al., 2016 Bioinformatics); (2) A study of genome-wide, dense SNP (~900K) and copy number polymorphism data of indigenous southern Africans, addressing a strategy to identify the signature of selection in admixed populations (Chimusa et al., 2015 PLoS Genet); (3) PROXYANC, an optimal quadratic programming approach to select the best proxy ancestral populations of multi-way admixed populations and to examine the fine genetic characterization of ancestral components in multi-way admixed populations (Chimusa et al., 2013 PLos One).
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